St Patricks Day Massacre Closes the Noose
Last Friday night, on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, the Obama administration issued new coercive rules to extend and finalize their abortifacient and contraceptive mandate, issuing demands to provide free sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortifacient pills to all college students. And that is not all . . .
First, it is important to bear in mind that talk of an “accommodation” or “compromise” on February 10 was just that—talk. Immediately after the press conference, President Obama directed Kathleen Sebelius to publish the original rule (announced Aug. 1, 2011 and confirmed jan. 20, 2012), with its unconstitutional attack on religious freedom. That rule has been published in the Federal Register and is now the law of the land. Obama and Sebelius have made vague promises to create a safe harbor for some Catholic institutions who meet their other demands, but so far, nothing resembling even a partially acceptable solution has been offered.
In the meantime, President Obama has been moving full steam ahead to close the loop noose of his new government mandate regime, which has all the appearances of a government jobs program for Planned Parenthood.
- In its Friday, March 16, document dump, the Obama administration decreed that now all college student health insurance plans must contain the full range of FDA-approved contraceptives (including at least one abortifacient) and sterilizations made available for free. Moreover, instead of making these drugs and procedures available to those who “desire them,” as originally promised, Obama declared that all of this must be provided “automatically” (page 19). This focus on college students follows the mandate that all Catholic schools and universities completely subsidize these services for all of their employees.
- As if that was not enough, the new rule now notes in multiple places that the “reproductive services” it is imposing must be made available to all health insurance plan participants and “beneficiaries.” This means that the children of employees at Catholic institutions must be offered these same services—at no upfront cost and, no doubt, with no parental consent.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced its intent to fight this coercive government mandate in total—not to seek a mere exemption for Catholic institutions but to advocate for the full rights of religious freedom of all institutions and individuals in the United States. All people of good will must join together to fight this coercive mandate. It is not only destructive of religious freedom, women’s health, and economic liberty on its face, but represents only a first step by elite members of the federal government to control all health care and dictate social policy.
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